Opportunities in the Development of Pakistan’s Private Sector

Pakistan’s economic crisis is one of the main sources of its instability, but government and donor efforts to stabilize and grow its economy have so far been inadequate. One of the barriers to investing in Pakistan’s private sector has been the perceptions of risk due to insecurity and corruption. This report suggests that opportunities for economic cooperation are hidden among those real risks. It reviews a number of sectors, focusing on small and medium-size enterprises, where foreign investors might find opportunities for joint ventures and investments, including the stock market, financial services, information and communication technologies, agriculture, consumer goods, and private education. Prospects for growth in these sectors derive from Pakistan’s large and growing population, consumer spending trends, and other comparative advantages. This report should be treated not as a guide to investing but as a study of where U.S.-Pakistan policy dialogues might focus on connecting investors with entrepreneurs.

Sadika Hameed